On Saturday, September 22, 2012, the High River United Church was filled to capacity, with a sell-out crowd privileged to hear two extraordinary young musicians—Kevin Chen on piano and Ainsley Soutière, soprano, accompanied by Ron Bennie. These two inspiring and gifted musicians moved, charmed, and delighted our audience. From Bach to Mozart to Richard Strauss to Kurt Weill, centuries of music were covered in this program. No one in the audience will forget Kevin’s masterful interpretation of Mozart’s Concerto no 17, with the orchestral score played by Colleen Athparia on a second piano. Ainsley sang with all her heart and touched everyone with her poignant performances of songs by Richard Strauss and Reynaldo Hahn. Twinkling eyes concluded the joint performance with a collaborative tune, as Ainsley suggested marriage to the young pianist—in the future perhaps. Kevin persevered, grinning shyly and playing Beethoven to sustain his position on the keyboard. For the audience, it was another touch of magic.
This concert was the first of the Gift of Music’s 2012-13 season.